Dry eye disease (DED), also called the keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), is one of the most common diseases in the ophthalmology clinics. While DED is not a life-threatening disease, life quality may be substantially affected by the discomfort and the complications of poor vision. As such, a large number of studies have made contributions to the investigation of the DED pathogenesis and novel treatments. DED is a multi-factorial disease featured with various phenotypic consequences; therefore, animal models are valuable tools suitable for the related studies. Accordingly, selection of the animal model to recapitulate the clinical presentation of interest is important for appropriately addressing the research objective. To this end, we systemically reviewed different murine and rabbit models of DED, which are categorized into the quantitative (aqueous-deficient) type and the qualitative (evaporative) type, based on the schemes to establish. The clinical manifestations of dry eye on animal models can be induced by mechanical or surgical approaches, iatrogenic immune response, topical eyedrops, blockage of neural pathway, or others. While these models have shown promising results, each has its own limitation and cannot fully reproduce the pathophysiological mechanisms that occur in patients. Nonetheless, the animal models remain the best approximation of human DED and represent the valuable tool for the DED studies.
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